Makes 12 servings
This is a perfect fall dish, with salty pancetta, sweet grapes, and savory browned Brussels sprouts, and this recipe feeds a crowd, making it perfect for your Thanksgiving table. Each component of this dish can be made a few days ahead of time and then reheated just before serving. Toss any leftovers with pasta for a quick and easy dinner.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 oz pancetta, diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 10 oz shallots, sliced 1/8 inch thick (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 lb 8 oz trimmed Brussels sprouts, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus as needed to adjust seasoning
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 7 oz red seedless grapes, halved (about 1 1/2 cups)
- Kosher salt, as needed to adjust seasoning
- Ground black pepper, as needed to adjust seasoning
- For the pancetta, heat an 8-inch sauté pan over medium heat, about 1 minute. Add the olive oil to the pan, and heat to hot but not smoking, about 10 seconds. Add the pancetta, adjust the heat to medium-low, and cook, tossing occasionally, until caramelized and crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the pancetta to a small bowl, leaving about 2 tablespoons of the fat in the sauté pan. The pancetta can be browned in advance. Rapidly cool, then immediately store wrapped in the refrigerator for 2 days or in the freezer for 3 months.
- For the shallots, to the same sauté pan over medium-low heat add the shallots and salt. (If there is not pancetta fat available, replace it with the same amount of olive oil.) Scrape the fond from the bottom and cook until soft and translucent, about 20 minutes. If the shallots start to burn, add 2 tablespoons water and cook until the water has evaporated. Move the shallots to one side and add the olive oil and garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Then combine the garlic with the shallots and cook for 5 minutes more. Transfer to a medium bowl.
- Rinse and drain the Brussels sprouts, leaving them damp. Warm a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat until you feel heat, 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup of the oil to coat the bottom of the pan and heat to hot but not smoking, so a sprout sizzles and steams when it hits the pan.
- Carefully place about one-third of the sprouts into the pan to fill it in a single layer, sprinkle them with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and turn so the cut sides are down. Cook the sprouts undisturbed until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Adjust the heat, if necessary, so the pan is as hot as possible but does not scorch. Flip the sprouts over and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes, and then stir-fry until tender but still bright green, about 1 minute more.
- Place the cooked Brussels sprouts onto a sheet pan and spread out to cool. Repeat with the remaining oil, Brussels sprouts, and salt. The Brussels sprouts can be cooked in advance. Rapidly cool, then immediately store wrapped in the refrigerator for 1 day.
- Return all the Brussels sprouts to the same nonstick sauté pan. Add the cooked shallots, pepper, and pancetta. Sauté until everything is hot, about 4 minutes. Toss in the almonds and grapes at the last second. (If added too early, the acid in the grapes can change the color of the Brussels sprouts.) Taste and adjust seasoning.